Frames of Kerala on celluloid: Malayattoor

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Forests in Kerala have a distinct charm. And no wonder the master craftsman of Indian cinema, Mani Ratnam, who was then looking for a hideout for his character Beera/ Veera in Kerala, discovered the Reserve Forest at Malayattoor. It was a perfect place. Though he started shooting the forest scenes for Ravan there, things did not go really according to his plan. Mani Ratnam had to stop the shooting for a while because of some restriction put in by the forest department. According to the officials, the crew had violated the norms which allowed shooting only between 8 am and 6 pm due to the close proximity of animals. The shooting was stopped for a couple of days and then resumed. Veera's forest hideout in the movie is the Malayattoor forests.

Ilayathalapathy Vijay's Puli was shot in the forests where Ravan was shot years ago. Hansika Motwani and Shruti Hassan played the lady leads in this film which was extensively shot across Kerala. Now, wait for the much-hyped Mohanlal flick Pulimurugan to release, you will find the richness of the forest in Malayattoor on screen once again. The town of Malayattoor and the St Thomas church which draws a huge crowd forms part of the lore of the land.

In AD 52, St Thomas an apostle of Lord Jesus Christ came to India to spread the Lord's word, on his way to Mylapore, he stopped at Malayattoor. The local people, it is said attacked him and he fled to the top of the hill. He prayed to the Lord to keep him safe. Years afterward local people who were out on a hunt found a divine light in the hills and started offering prayers and later a church was consecrated here. Now, a trek up to the church built at the place is said to grant your wishes. It is a major pit stop for people who travel this side of the hills.

Reaching Malayattoor
Nearest Railway station is Angamaly. Cochin International airport is just 18kms away.

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